The Windows Genuine Advantage (WGA) Tool is a program that validates if your Windows version is genuine and licensed. It aims to stand against software piracy and protects Windows users. WGA is a compulsory program for update downloads. If you want to know how to use it, here are some tips.
- Find out if WGA works in your system. Some versions of Windows don’t work with WGA. These include Microsoft Windows 98, Windows Millennium Edition, and Windows Server 2003. You can use it, though, with Windows XP, Windows 2000 Professional, and Windows Vista.
- Allow WGA to validate your operating system. If you try to download updates from Microsoft, WGA tool will first have to validate your OS. You will be asked to download ActiveX control to start the validation process. This should only take a few minutes. By going through your software, WGA can detect whether your version of Windows is authentic or counterfeit. If it is found authentic, you can continue downloading updates. If it is counterfeit, you will receive a notification and you won’t be able to get some of the important downloads. Some of Windows’ features will also be limited.
- Consider the recommendations if your software is pirated. Microsoft will provide you with options when your software is found to be a counterfeit version. Foremost, you can send a report to Microsoft, so it can make an investigation. Now, if you are qualified, you can receive a free Windows copy. Alternatively, you will be asked to buy genuine software within 30 days. If you fail to install a genuine version, you will be notified that your software is not authentic and that you might be a victim of software piracy every time you start your computer. Your computer will also turn black every hour until you settle the problem.
- Report whoever sold you a counterfeit Windows version. You can make a report if you innocently bought a pirated version of Windows. This is done through the How to Tell page of the Microsoft website. The report you send will remain confidential.
- Find out why your Windows was identified as counterfeit. In case Microsoft detects your software as counterfeit even if it is not, you can make some actions to do further verification. Microsoft will help you with this. It will provide explanations why your Windows was detected as pirated and offer troubleshooting recommendations. For example, Microsoft will detect your software as counterfeit if you happened to install Windows with the incorrect product key. You will then be asked to access Product Key Update Tool and correct the problem.
Software counterfeit is so rampant today that Microsoft made a radical move to prevent piracy through WGA. But ultimately, it is your responsibility as a user to find out if the software you are purchasing is authentic. You have to find the marks of genuine software such as the Certificate of Authenticity. If you are buying a computer preinstalled with Windows, you have to make sure it is authentic. Talk to the dealer about this.